Reinstating FOID Card Rights Through Clemency

Regaining F.O.I.D. Card Rights Through Clemency:
A Sure Thing, if You're Granted Clemency

In Illinois, the governor has the sole authority to reinstate someone’s FOID card rights lost due to a felony conviction. Several years ago few knew that clemency could be used for this purpose.

In an earlier posting I described how one client ended up petitioning for clemency three times because he did not know that he had to ask for reinstatement of his gun rights. I represented the client on his third petition. Today, my client has a FOID card. This little-known requirement was in effect during Governor Quinn's tenure. About a year and half into his tenure, Governor Rauner eliminated with the requirement.

Clemency Petitioners No Longer Must Ask for Reinstatement of Gun Rights

Between January 2015 and September 2016, Governor Rauner granted 66 clemencies. Only three individuals had their FOID card rights reinstated during this time.  Now, Governor Rauner assumes if you petition for clemency you want any rights taken from you reinstated due to a felony or misdemeanor conviction.

Since Fall 2016, Governor Rauner Has Reinstated Gun Rights to All Successful Clemency Applicants

Starting in October 2016 and continuing through May of this year  all petitioners who received clemency got their FOID card rights back.

That Governor Rauner routinely reinstates a petitioner’s gun rights is good news to anyone who longs to legally own a firearm again. However, what he doesn’t routinely do is grant clemency. Governor Rauner’s grant rate remains in the single digits – at 5%.

For those who don’t like those odds, come November we have an opportunity to elect a new governor. If you didn’t vote four years ago (or even if you did) and are interested in petitioning for clemency, go to the polls on November 6 and help elect the state’s next governor.